As temperatures start to rise, many of us dread the thought of having to endure the heat in our homes.
With England getting hotter and experiencing more heatwaves, it can feel like a struggle to keep cool without running up a hefty electricity bill.
Luckily, it is possible — there are a few things you can do to stay cool (and more comfortable) at home this summer without breaking the bank or worrying about energy use.
One of the simplest ways to keep your house cool is to use proper ventilation. If your home isn’t properly vented, like many new-builds are today, the building can quickly accumulate heat that can’t escape.
It may sound obvious to say, but sometimes the easiest way to cool down your house is by opening windows and doors. Make sure you open them across the house, though, so that you get a cross-breeze.
Keep in mind that this method is most effective when the air outside is cooler than the air inside — say, late in summer evenings.
If it’s hot outside and you open the windows, you might inadvertently end up doing the opposite and heating the house up.
Another way to improve ventilation is to make use of bathroom and kitchen fans to suck out hot, humid air — particularly when showering or cooking, but also at other times, too.
If the heat is really unbearable, it could be a good idea to invest in a window fan. As opposed to whole-house air conditioning systems (expensive and not very common in the UK), window fans allow you to cool down single rooms or areas when you need it most. They can be used either way around: to pull cool air into your home, or exhaust humid air out.
Air conditioning is an effective way to keep your home cool but, as we mentioned, it’s not particularly common in the UK because of how infrequently we need it. If you think that, in the average summer, we tend to have around two weeks of real heat, it doesn’t seem wise to invest in something that would remain largely unused.
That being said, if you do have an air conditioning unit, make sure that you clean the filter regularly so it keeps running well. And try to set the temperature to a moderate level, resisting turning it up too high — otherwise, you’ll quickly run up your energy bill (and carbon footprint!).
To save money on unnecessary central air conditioning units, you can buy portable ones that can be moved from room to room. When shopping for portable units, keep an eye out for their energy ratings (A is good, but A*** is better!) and whether or not they’re equipped with timers. Timers allow you to pre-set cooling hours so that they don’t run all night while you sleep, for example.
Whatever the energy rating, it’s still worth trying to use these sparingly as they can rack up the pennies quickly.
Having said that, if your house is running on solar, then you may find you can use these units guilt-free for a few hours at a time! Many Thakeham homes are built with solar panels already installed, lifting a weight off the shoulders of our residents.
In the heatwaves of recent years, you may have heard advice to keep your blinds and curtains shut to block out direct sunlight. Indeed, this is a great way to keep your home cool.
But if you find it disconcerting not being able to see outside all day, then another way to shade your home effectively is by tinting your windows. Window films are easy to install and have the added benefit of giving you more privacy, while ensuring you don’t feel completely shut off from the world!
If you find that downstairs windows often bring in a lot of the sun’s heat, then you can keep your house cool naturally by planting trees or climbers on trellises outside to create a shading effect.
Large patio doors can be both a blessing and a curse in the summer months. At times, opening them provides the only source of relief from the heat. But you might find that the large panes of glass bring in a lot of warmth on the hottest days. By way of an aesthetic and practical solution, then, you could choose to install an awning or pergola to provide shade and prevent direct sunlight from coming in through your patio doors.
Most of us don’t realise it, but insulation isn’t just good for winter. To put it simply, good insulation helps to block heat from entering the house in summer, and helps hold heat in during winter.
Solid wall insulation is far more effective at keeping heat out than standard cavity walls, slowing the movement of heat between outdoors and indoors.
If your home doesn’t have adequate insulation, consider adding it to your loft or walls. You can also seal air leaks around windows and doors to stop hot air from entering your home.
Installing insulation into your home can be quite a process, involving removing stud walls or obstructing items and cutting rolls of insulation to fit. This, then, is one of the biggest benefits of buying a new-build home; they are often built with the latest insulation technology and air ventilation systems installed to keep them cool.
The cooling benefits of a new build
It shouldn’t have to feel like you’re making a choice between unbearable heat and a cooler home at the cost of your wallet and the environment. We hope that these key methods help you save some money on that ever-increasing energy bill!
If your current home just isn’t meeting the bar or you’re thinking of buying your first home and want to make sure it’s optimised for temperature changes, then you might like to consider a new build.
In terms of cooling, new build homes benefit from:
- Top-quality insulation to lower heat transference
- Air ventilation technology to reduce heat build-up at the top
- Double glazing to help keep heat out
- Sealed windows and doors to prevent hot air leaking in and cool air escaping
They’re also frequently installed with smart meters to help you save on energy in winter so you don’t feel so guilty about running a fan on the hottest day of the year! You can find out what your energy savings might look like with a Thakeham Home here, ranging from around £1781 to £5139.
Here at Thakeham, we care deeply about the longevity and sustainability of our homes and communities. Eco-friendliness is baked into our mission, which is why many of our homes are kitted out with PV panels, smart meters, electric car charging points, low energy lighting, and superior insulation.
With a Thakeham home, you can enjoy summer hikes, picnics, and events, and come home to a cool and comfortable house.
Browse our available homes HERE
Learn more about who we are HERE
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